By Mike Gridley
If you want to expand your horizons and your time on the water, a small express cruiser is a great way to do that. Regal’s Commodore 2665 is a good candidate.
The Commodore 2665 has a sleek-looking design from any angle, which earns favourable comments — proof that the designers in Orlando got it right in 2002 when the model was launched.
When you are searching for a 2665, you should try to locate one with the optional extended swim platform, that gives you great access for boarding and getting to the water. There are also three large self-draining wet lockers in the integrated swim platform.
The double-facing bench seats in the cockpit provide ample room for guests while under way, then convert quickly into a sunlounge. While the convertible seating is a great feature, the fact that the transom bench must be removed to access the engine compartment is not. Once open, though, access to service the Volvo 5.7 GXi and other points is quite reasonable.
For entertaining, the cockpit has a small refreshment centre with a sink, along with storage and a built-in cooler. The double helm seat slides smoothly and incorporates a single bolster. A tilt steering wheel ensures a comfortable driving position seated or standing.
The helm is well laid-out and functional, with more room to flush-mount electronics than usually found on boats this size.
Access forward is gained via moulded steps adjacent to the helm and through the windshield walkthrough. A popular option on our test model was the windlass. The windlass is mounted on a flat section of deck that provides secure footing when forward. I also appreciate the fact that Regals have a hatch to access the rode locker so you don’t have reach the locker from an interior panel, if the rode gets tangled.
The companionway door is a two-piece arrangement that provides respectable headroom. Belowdecks, the salon is quite roomy on the 2665. The dinette provides ample seating and, of course, converts to a substantial berth. If overnighting on the boat, you will enjoy the light and breezes that flow through, thanks to the overhead hatch on twin ports.
While compact, the Regal’s galley does provide the essentials, including a single-burner cooktop, stainless steel sink and compact AC/DC fridge. Adjacent to the galley are panels for ship’s and shore power, digital controls for the air conditioning / heating and a first-rate marine stereo system.
Opposite the galley is the head, with an opening port, handheld shower, moulded vanity with stainless steel sink and VacuFlush head.
The mid-cabin will comfortably sleep two adults. When staying aboard you will appreciate the screened port and wide opening to the salon for ventilation, as well as two lockers.
Departing the marina at idle, I was pleased that the 2665 tracked well, even with a single sterndrive. It required minimal steering input. With a light load, the 320-hp Volvo GXi Duoprop effortlessly powered the 2665 onto plane at part throttle. Pushed hard, the 2665 planed in six seconds.
Cruising speed was a respectable 26 mph at 3500 rpm. At this speed, under steady conditions, the Regal should have a range of 120 to 130 nautical miles
Running fast or at cruising speed, the hull delivered a smooth ride, effortlessly cutting though wakes. Turns were precise, without sliding, and the Volvo Duoprop stayed hooked up in the tightest turns.
If you are looking for your first cruiser or want to step up in size, this is definitely a model you should consider. The Regal 2665 has great space in the cockpit, reasonable accommodations down below — something a family can really enjoy for a weekend or a week or two away on the water.